Grenchen (SUI), June 6th, 2011 – Swiss rider Roger Rinderknecht won the second World Cup Stop in Fort William (SCO). Despite a rocky start into the racing weekend, the BMC rider was able to leave the track as the lucky winner and took second place in the overall ranking. Thanks to intensive preparations and training over the winter months, nothing stands in the way of a successful season now. You can watch the run as a replay here:
At the start it seemed as though 2011 was not going to be the BMC rider’s lucky year; after a mediocre start at the first World Cup race in Pietermaritzburg (RSA), Roger fell on his head during practice at the second stop. On Thursday, the challenging course in Fort William got the best of him and a crash forced him to put in a stop at the hospital. After the x-ray luckily showed no fractures, Rinderknecht prepared for the qualifiers with full force and a lot of bumps and scratches. “I was in a lot of pain so that I was barely able to walk and decided to go for safety during the qualifiers”, remembered the Swiss national. The result was a moderate 16th place. Not an ideal starting position, since Jared Graves (AUS) was already waiting for him in the eighth final. Rinderknecht and Graves were both able to make it to the next round and met Johannes Fischbach (GER) and Michal Marosi (CZE) in the quarters.
Here it was also the two favorites Rinderknecht and Graves who left the other two riders behind on the unusually dry track in Fort William. In the semi finals Roger was able to prove his form once more. The BMC rider took off in third position from the start in front of Romain Saladini (FRA); ahead of Rinderknecht, last year’s World Champ Tomas Slavic (CZE) and Jared Graves were battling each other. In the second turn, Roger was able to pass Graves with a clever outside-inside swoop and did not let anyone push him off second place.
The last four riders who lined up at the gate for the finals were thus Tomas Slavik, Roger Rinderknecht, his fellow countryman David Graf (SUI) and Joost Wichman (NED). As is often the case in 4X, this Scottish version also had an unpredictable final. Joost Wichman took the lead at the start in front of Rinderknecht, Graf and Slavik. In the rock garden, Wichman crashed and Roger took the lead. Wichman’s bike also took out Tomas Slavik. Roger did not let anyone steal the lead from him and won in Fort William in front of his Swiss colleague David Graf. Tomas Slavik and Joost Wichman took third and fourth place.
Of course, Roger is absolutely thrilled about the first place and took the spot on the podium next to his neighbor Graf: “In Pietermaritzburg we also clashed and back then it ended better for David. This is quite a special situation since we’re neighbors and even traveled here together. All in all it is a great success that gives me plenty of confidence for the next races. I’m already looking forward to the next stop in Leogang! Compared to last year, I am planning to improve. Let’s see how Leogang treats me,” says Rinderknecht.